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Biden White House ‘strongly supports’ nominee Saule Omarova, despite 1995 ‘retail theft’ arrest

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President Joe Biden’s already controversial nominee for a key U.S. Treasury Department job has had a past run-in with the law, but she still enjoys the support of the White House.

Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearings for Cornell University Law School professor Saule Omarova, an apparent private banking foe and alleged Marxist who has been tapped to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are scheduled to begin on Thursday.

“According to the background check, Omarova was arrested by Madison, Wisconsin, police officers on June 2, 1995, and charged with a misdemeanor count of ‘retail theft,'” Fox News reported about the information it says it obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

“The background check also lists Omarova as having a deferred prosecution in January 1996 for the charge, which was dropped through the Wisconsin first offender program,” the network reported.

Various states have a roughly similar program in place in which no legal finding is issued in a case if a first-time defendant stays out of trouble for a designated period of time.

Through a spokesperson, the White House responded to the Fox News report that this is old news and blamed the whole thing on an unnamed “far-right” organization:

To be clear, Saule has been fully transparent about this incident her entire career, including to the Senate, in applications, and when she worked at the Treasury Department during the Bush Administration, This case was ultimately dismissed in January 1996 – more than 25 years ago – and was the result of a misunderstanding and confusing situation.

It’s sad that a far-right partisan group with a pattern of engaging in tawdry behavior would partner with Fox News to smear the name of a qualified nominee seeking to serve her country. Saule Omarova is eminently qualified and was nominated for this role given her strong track record on regulation and strong academic credentials. The White House strongly supports this historic nomination.

 

U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) is hardly enthusiastic about this particular nominee. “President Biden’s choice for banking regulator is a Marxist academic who wants to destroy the American banking and energy sectors and implement socialism in the United States, proving once again that this White House is beholden to the radical left elements of the Democrat party,” he said.

In a 50-50 Senate with VP Kamala Harris empowered to cast a deciding vote in the event of a tie on the floor of the chamber, the central planner can be confirmed for the Treasury job if all the Democrats stick together.

Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), whose 24-member panel is vetting Omarova, is publicly standing by the nominee.

Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) reportedly have concerns about the nomination, however. Tester and Sinema serve on the banking committee.

In the past, Omarova seemed to speak approvingly of oil, natural gas, and coal firms going bankrupt to prevent climate change.

Omarova, who was born in Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union and graduated from Moscow State University in 1989, praised the now-defunct socialist government for its lack of a “gender pay gap” in 2019. She has also described the financial services sector as an “a—hole industry.” She moved to the U.S. in 1991.

Senate Republicans want to take a look at the would-be bank regulator’s Moscow State thesis about Marxism which the nominee still hasn’t released. The university claims it no longer has a copy.

In October, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) insisted that “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more radical choice for any regulatory spot in our federal government.”

Robert Jonathan

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